Radiance and Jacobian intercomparison of radiative transfer models applied to HIRS and AMSU channels

Type: Journal Article

Venue: Journal of Geophysical Research


Garand, L., D. S. Turner, M. Larocque, J. Bates, S. Boukabara, P. Brunel, F. Chevallier, G. Deblonde, R. Engelen, M. Hollingshead, D. Jackson, G. Jedlovec, J. Joiner, T. Kleespies, D. S. McKague, L. McMillin, J.-L. Moncet, J. R. Pardo, P. J. Rayer, E. Salathe, R. Saunders, N. A. Scott, P. V. Delst and H. Woolf (2001) Radiance and Jacobian intercomparison of radiative transfer models applied to HIRS and AMSU channels, J. Geophys. Res., 106(D20), 24017-24032, 10.1029/2000JD000184.

Resource Link: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2001/2000JD000184.shtml

The goals of this study are the evaluation of current fast radiative transfer models (RTMs) and line-by-line (LBL) models. The intercomparison focuses on the modeling of 11 representative sounding channels routinely used at numerical weather prediction centers: 7 HIRS (High-resolution Infrared Sounder) and 4 AMSU (advanced microwave sounding unit) channels. Interest in this topic was evident by the participation of 24 scientists from 16 institutions. An ensemble of 42 diverse atmospheres was used and results compiled for 19 infrared models and 10 microwave models, including several LBL RTMs. For the first time, not only radiances but also Jacobians (of temperature, water vapor, and ozone) were compared to various LBL models for many channels. In the infrared, LBL models typically agree to within 0.05–0.15 K (standard deviation) in terms of top-of-the-atmosphere brightness temperature (BT). Individual differences up to 0.5 K still exist, systematic in some channels, and linked to the type of atmosphere in others. The best fast models emulate LBL BTs to within 0.25 K, but no model achieves this desirable level of success for all channels. The ozone modeling is particularly challenging. In the microwave, fast models generally do quite well against the LBL model to which they were tuned. However, significant differences were noted among LBL models. Extending the intercomparison to the Jacobians proved very useful in detecting subtle or more obvious modeling errors. In addition, total and single gas optical depths were calculated, which provided additional insight on the nature of differences.